7 days
Duration
Destination
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Odyssey Summer School Map Blue Mountains

Convicts and Colonials in NSW

In 2021 Odyssey is offering a week long course on the early years of white settlement in NSW at our Summer School in the Blue Mountains.

Each day we’ll begin with a discussion of some aspect of the subject and then take an excursion to a local (or relatively local) place of colonial interest. The subject is vast and, obviously, impossible to cover in just one week. This course will, however, serve to whet the appetite for further study, and will also provide the opportunity for an interest filled week in pleasant surroundings with congenial company.

This course should appeal to seniors with an interest in the history of white settlement in Australia, but with a rather shaky memory of primary school lessons. Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson crossed the Blue Mountains in 1813 and Edward Hargreaves discovered gold in Bathurst in 1850. We were drilled with these facts. But, how far did the explorers actually get, and what about Willian Tipple Smith who discovered gold three years before Hargreaves? Conflicts with the indigenous population were hardly mentioned, and it seemed that all convicts were sent out for stealing a loaf of bread.

This week long course aims to look at just who the convicts were and why the settlement was established in the first place. It will spend some time looking at the early conflicts with the locals and at the lives of some of the convicts. It will also examine the stories of a few of the first settlers (both men and women) and the difficulties they faced, as well as the success (or failure) they had. Because we’ll be based in Katoomba, we’ll be able to leave the classroom each day and visit some of the places associated with early white settlement. We’ll be close enough to Parramatta, Richmond and Bathurst to visit each of these places. It may surprise some of you to discover the rich array of colonial buildings available for us to explore.

Top Five Experiences.

  • Discover the truth about the convicts, well, some of them anyway.
  • Visit Elizabeth Farm near Parramatta to see where Elizabeth Macarthur lived and worked.
  • Drive Bells Line of Road from Windsor and be surprised by the existence of a 19th century Turkish Bath House at Mount Wilson.
  • Wander through what remains of Hartley Historic Village, just west of the mountains, with its 17 buildings of historic interest.
  • Find out just why wagon loads of young Irish girls took the long journey to Bathurst.

Summer School classes for mature and senior travellers

Odyssey offers a collection of week-long learning programs offered each January in Hobart, Tasmania. Our 2021 classes will be held in Leura, Blue Mountains, NSW (due to Covid-19 border restrictions). Courses are refreshed for each year’s programs. Classes are limited to 15 people.

Over the last twenty-five years, Odyssey’s small group Summer School Program has given countless travellers an unforgettable educational and travel experience. Each summer, we prepare and offer fun and challenging special interest courses and programs designed to give travellers the options and opportunity to learn about history, religion, Australian culture, and the arts, among many other topics. These courses are designed in such a way that enthusiasts can deepen their knowledge of a particular topic or be initiated into new understandings on a subject.

These programs offered are tailor-made for mature-aged and senior travellers who are eager to explore in-depth a particular topic. Summer school learning programs for mature and senior travellers who are and remain curious about the world. Read more about our philosophy of the Odyssey Summer Schools.

Frequently Asked Questions About Odyssey Traveller Summer School

Odyssey Traveller’s small group Summer School program has given countless travellers an unforgettable educational and travel experience. Each summer, we offer numerous special interest courses and programs. Courses are designed for senior travellers who are eager to deepen their knowledge of a particular topic or be initiated into new understandings of a particular subject. Often these courses underpin our European small groups tours for seniors that are offered each year. We focus on history, religion, Australian culture, and the arts, among many other topics.

Summer School lecturers and instructors are current or retired university lecturers or experts with a particular passion for teaching their chosen subject. Many of our lecturers have extensive teaching experience, and are gifted educators with the ability to adapt material based on the group’s needs. Many of them have taught with us for several years. They have fine-tuned their courses to allow for deep engagement on the part of participants.

Our teaching rooms are located at the Fairmont resort in Leura. This location enables us to screen relevant documentaries and films, and to maintain engaging teaching environments.

Summer School programs are designed to encourage participation. Expect regular discussions and tutorial exercises, as well as various group activities. The majority of our courses also feature memorable educational excursions, which take full advantage of all that the Blue Mountains have to offer. Other programs feature outings and excursions to sites of cultural significance, in order to blend classroom learning with more interactive and hands-on educational experiences.


PDF of Tour PDF of Reading List

1
Discover the truth about the convicts, well, some of them anyway.
2
Visit Elizabeth Farm near Parramatta to see where Elizabeth Macarthur lived and worked.
3
Drive Bells Line of Road from Windsor and be surprised by the existence of a 19th century Turkish Bath House at Mount Wilson.
4
Wander through what remains of Hartley Historic Village, just west of the mountains, with its 17 buildings of historic interest.
5
Find out just why wagon loads of young Irish girls took the long journey to Bathurst.

What’s included in our Tour

  • 6 nights in full en suite accommodation
  • 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 2 dinners.
  • Lectures and handouts as indicated.
  • Services of a study leader and lecturers.
  • Complimentary wifi.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • Comprehensive travel insurance.
  • Costs of a personal nature.
Convicts and Emigrants
Colony Map of Tasmania
Tasmanian coastline
Port Arthur village historic site, a 19th-century penal settlement